The new images show some of the fresh Ukrainian recruits learning to handle assault rifles.
British Soldiers Training Fresh Ukrainian Recruits In UK Say They Are Very Motivated
British soldiers training fresh Ukrainian recruits in the United Kingdom have said that they are very motivated and a pleasure to work with in new footage obtained from the Ministry of Defense.
The new images, obtained from the Ministry of Defense (MoD) of the United Kingdom on Friday, July 15, show some of the fresh Ukrainian recruits learning to handle assault rifles.
The UK MoD said: “Ukrainian Army recruits have arrived in the UK this month where they are being given the skills needed to be effective and lethal on the frontline and defend their homeland.”
In the footage, a British soldier named as Lance Corporal Lourens says: “I really want to get the message across to people that what these guys are doing, because I don’t think that the reality of it has set into a lot of people at home or a lot of people.
“Like these guys are builders and plumbers and photographers and artists. They’re not soldiers, they’re people who’ve got families and a home. But every single one here has volunteered to be here.”
Another soldier, identified as Captain Russon, says in the footage: “We were really pleasantly surprised with how keen they were and how willing to learn they are.
“And we initially set our stall like I think maybe a little bit ambitious and we could potentially dial back. However, they’ve met that standard and they really are very, very motivated, very keen and it’s really a pleasure to work with them.”
The images were also relayed by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Sunday, July 17, along with a statement saying in both Ukrainian and in English that the “AFU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] are grateful for the UK’s support and assistance.”
The statement also said: “The UK-led program trained the Armed Forces of Ukraine allowing them to scale up their resistance as they continue to defend their nation’s sovereignty.
“The program is part of the UK’s enduring commitment to support Ukraine in its fight against the Kremlin’s unprovoked invasion.
“Secretary of State for Defense the Rt Hon Ben Wallace, who visited the training earlier, said: ‘This ambitious new training program is the next phase in the UK’s support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in their fight against Russian aggression. Using the world-class expertise of the British Army we will help Ukraine to rebuild its forces and scale up its resistance as they defend their country’s sovereignty and their right to choose their own future.’
“The UK has a long history of supporting Ukrainian service personnel through Operation Orbital which trained 22,000 Ukrainians between 2015 and 2022. The new program will build on this success and demonstrate the UK’s continued leadership in responding to Ukraine’s military requirements as the war evolves.”
We contacted the UK Ministry of Defense and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for further comment, as well as the Russian Ministry of Defense, but haven’t received a reply at the time of writing.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is calling a “special military operation”. July 18 marks the 145th day of the invasion.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and July 18, Russia had lost about 38,450 personnel, 1,687 tanks, 3,886 armored combat vehicles, 849 artillery units, 248 multiple launch rocket systems, 113 air defense systems, 220 warplanes, 188 helicopters, 690 drones, 166 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 2,753 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 70 units of special equipment.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed Ukraine’s head of the security service and its prosecutor general, saying that over 60 of their employees have been “working against” the country in territories currently occupied by Russia.
Ukrainian military officials have said that Russia is preparing the next stage of its invasion after Moscow said that its forces in Ukraine will increase military activities in “all operational areas”.
Ukraine has said that Russia appears to be preparing its units for an attack on the city of Sloviansk, in the eastern region of Donetsk.
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) has said that Russia is also reinforcing its defensive military positions in areas that it currently occupies in southern Ukraine.
The British MoD has also said that Russia has used the private military company Wagner to reinforce frontline forces and to mitigate manning shortfalls and casualties. The MoD believes that Wagner has played a key role in recent fighting, including in the capture of Ukrainian cities, but they also said that this fighting has inflicted heavy casualties on the group, which has caused them to lower their recruitment standards.
The British MoD also said that the head of Wagner, Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, has recently been made a Hero of the Russian Federation for Wagner’s performance in Luhansk. The MoD said that this took place “at a time when a number of very senior Russian military commanders are being replaced” and is therefore “likely to exacerbate grievances between the military and Wagner. It is also likely to impact negatively on Russian military morale.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is traveling to Azerbaijan in a bid to secure a supply of natural gas for the European Union, as the block attempts to reduce its reliance energy supplied by Russia.
The EU is also meeting to discuss increasing sanctions against Russia.